tv Way Too Early MSNBC December 27, 2012 2:30am-3:00am PST
good morning. i'm mike barnicle, and as we pull toward the end of the year, this is a special reprise edition of "way too early," one time only, the show that got another lump of coal in its stocking this christmas. you're not the only one keeping track, santa. thank you for being up with us this thursday, december 27th. there is a lot to talk about, including a new warning from treasury secretary tim geithner. he is now telling congress that the u.s. government will reach its borrowing limit by next monday, the 31st. remember how much fun the last debt ceiling fight was? well, that news comes as president obama rushes home to washington, cutting short his hawaiian vacation in order to resume talks on the fiscal cliff. there are just five days remaining to strike a deal. we'll get to all that in a moment, but first, we begin with a massive winter storm that made holiday travel miserable for millions of americans, including me! winter storm euclid -- what, are
we naming snowstorms now? euclid. you can lid? well, euclid blanketed much of the eastern half of the country yesterday, dropping blizzard-like conditions and record snowfall in the midwest, and by late afternoon, euclid moved northeast, bringing traffic to a standstill, forcing the cancellation of more than 1,500 flights on one of the busiest travel days of the year. the weather channel's mike seidel has more on the massive christmas storm. >> reporter: a major snowstorm has dumped over a foot of snow across parts of the midwest. indiana got hit hard. high winds adding to the misery there. >> it's a lot better with the four-wheel-drive, but it, yeah, it's definitely a doozy out there. >> reporter: and there's lots of snow in little rock, too. folks there had the snowiest christmas ever with nine inches. and it's making getting anywhere almost impossible. ice is coating windshields, branches and power lines. >> we're going to make the best of it. we're trying to find some place with power where we can get a cup of coffee and hot cocoa.
>> reporter: all this is making for a post-christmas travel nightmare. they're deicing in dallas as temperatures failed to break freezing. about 1,000 passengers had to spend the night in the airport. >> i'm coming down with a little cold, and should have been at work today. >> reporter: this is home video of a twister near jackson, mississippi. [ sirens ] part of a band of storms that ripped through the south last night. 21 tornadoes, a record for christmas day. >> look at that tornado. it's coming towards us. >> reporter: and in mobile, alabama, you can see the flashes as this tornado ripped apart transformers, leaving thousands without power. they've got a big cleanup ahead. and while no major injuries were reported, it was a very scary night for a lot of people. >> it's the most horrible feeling in the world to watch it coming at you and there's nowhere to go. it was just terrifying, really terrifying. >> reporter: that was ellen seer, and this is ellen seer's suv, the one that she rode out the tornado in as it was passing right overhead. if this tree had not locked down
this suv, ellen may have very well been the first casualty from the historic christmas day outbreak. >> that was the weather channel's jim cantore right there and mike seidel reporting. in a few minutes, we'll have the forecast on where the storm is headed today. that's just ahead in weather. but right now, unfortunately, we turn to politics. as if tax hikes and spending cuts weren't enough, there's a new reminder that the nation's debt ceiling is also hanging over the budget talks in washington. in a letter to congress yesterday, treasury secretary timothy geithner warned the government would hit its legal borrowing limit by monday. without the okay to borrow more, geithner says the treasury will be forced to take "extraordinary measures" to keep paying the bills. so, that makes the government like the rest of us. he also referenced the impending fiscal cliff, which threatens to derail the economy if a compromise isn't be reached by next week on those big, unanswered issues.
with both sides locked in a standoff, house republicans are calling on senate democrats to act first. democrats aren't budging much on their demands. they want to extend tax cuts on incomes below $250,000, prolong unemployment benefits and delay those sweeping spending cuts. while many republicans oppose new taxes for anyone, senator kay bailey hutchison says she's looking for compromise, alluding to house speaker john boehner's plan "b" that was met with stiff opposition from his own party. >> i think $250,000 is too low a threshold. a lot of working people who are couples would exceed that, and i don't think we need that kind of shock to the system. however, i've talked to some of my democratic colleagues, and they are saying maybe in the $400,000 or $500,000 category we could set a benchmark. i do think it is essential that we start talking about what
amount can be passed on a bipartisan basis, because you know, i'm one who believes you shouldn't tax anyone right now. i would have supported plan "b." >> according to a gallup poll, americans are less optimistic that washington will strike a deal. 50% now believe an agreement is likely, an eight-point drop from earlier this month. president obama, meanwhile, will be back in washington today after cutting short his vacation in hawaii. he'll be joined on air force one, or he is joined on air force one right now -- they're in the air, actually -- by hawaii's lieutenant governor brian schatz, who is nominated to fill the senate seat left vacant following the death of senator daniel inouye. schatz is expected to be sworn in later this afternoon or this evening. with the business of legislating stricter gun control, a "usa today"/gallup poll shows a split america.
58% of those polled want stronger gun laws, up 15% from october of last year, but when it comes to assault weapons, 44% of those polled support a federal ban, yet 51% oppose one, showing little movement over the last year. yesterday, philadelphia's mayor renewed calls for an assault weapons ban in the wake of the deadly shootings early monday that killed two firefighters in upstate new york. another teed off on comments made by the head of the nra, who told nbc's david gregory he favors armed guards at every school. >> i guess, you know, out of last week's bizarre press statement -- it wasn't a press conference -- i guess mr. lapierre would say that firefighters need to have armed guards go with them. i mean, i think it just shows that that was a completely dumb [ bleep ] idea from the start. we need to ban assault weapons,
we need to ban the high-capacity clips and magazines. we need serious background information system upgrade. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. i'll tell you what, the american people -- i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. it's the one thing that would keep people safe. and the nra is going to try to do that. >> in the wake of recent shootings, a local new york newspaper is facing calls to pull an article. "the journal news" created a web feature showing the addresses of all handgun permit holders in westchester and rockland counties, just north of new york city. the paper's editor said while they knew the database would be controversial, "sharing as much information as we could about gun ownership in our area was important in the aftermath of the newtown shootings."
and now that senator john kerry has been nominated for secretary of state, the focus is shifting to his potential replacement in massachusetts. senator scott brown, who was defeated last month by elizabeth warren, appears to be the clear choice for republicans. a poll conducted before the selection of kerry found brown dominating the field. the wbur poll also shows the senator topping any democrat by eight points. brown is yet to say whether he plans to run in the special election. as for the democrats, it's only clear who's not running right now. ted kennedy jr. was floated as a possible contender, but he says he's not interested. kennedy said he was grateful for the offers of support, but he considers connecticut to be his home, leaving the door open for a potential future run in that state. and actor and director ben affleck isn't ready to leave hollywood. the "argo" star, who had showed interest in politics, confirms
he doesn't want kerry's seat, saying "i love massachusetts and our political process, but i am not running for office." former president george h.w. bush is in the intensive care unit at houston methodist hospital this morning after suffering from what doctors call a stubborn fever. the president has been hospitalized since thanksgiving for bronchitis. he was expected to be released before christmas, but a series of setbacks sent him to the icu on sunday. the 88-year-old is currently on a liquid diet. doctors say they are cautiously optimistic about the treatment. a bush family spokesman says the former president remains alert and is surrounded by family. overseas, former south african president nelson mandela is at home this morning after spending almost three weeks in the hospital for a lung infection. the 94-year-old antiapartheid leader was released wednesday night and will receive continued
care at his home in johannesburg. a government spokesperson says mandela is in good spirits and improving daily. turning now to business. toyota has agreed to a $1.1 billion class action settlement over complaints some of its cars accelerated without warning. owners of some 16 million toyota, lexus and scion vehicles will be eligible for payments and safety updates depending on the make and model. the recall, dating back to 2009 and 2010, tarnished toyota's safety reputation and flattened its u.s. sales, ending its 30-year streak of market share increases. the company already was fined for not warning of the issues sooner. new numbers show a disappointing holiday sales season with retail growth up less than 1% from last year. nbc's john yang reports
retailers across the country are hoping for a sales bounce after christmas, and they're doing pretty much anything they can to bring shoppers back into stores. >> reporter: in detroit, shoppers lined up before stores opened, ready to spend. >> i'm returning things and i'm buying things. >> reporter: that's the way it was across the country as americans flocked to stores to use gift cards. >> you're lucky today. >> yes, i am. >> reporter: or returning what was under the tree. >> consumers tend to spend more when they come in and return the gift, and that's that second season that retailers love. >> i'm going to do well today, yeah. i'm going to take advantage of it. i'm going to get as much as i can. >> be sure to check out our $5 t-shirts today. >> reporter: stores are luring bargain hunters with deep discounts. >> starting at 60% off. it was better than last week. >> we save a chunk of money for this day specifically. >> reporter: the savings are across the board, from designer goods to electronics. >> there's good deals all over the place post christmas.
on average, you're seeing signs anywhere from 50% to 60% off. >> reporter: retailers are trying to fatten the bottom line after a lackluster season when they made 40% of their annual sales. by one estimate, holiday-related spending grew only 0.7% between october 28th and christmas eve. spending actually dropped from last year in the northeast and the mid-atlantic, the result of hurricane sandy. nationwide, spending stalled in december with worries about the looming fiscal cliff and the tragedy in connecticut. >> we never got the christmas spirit back going running again. there were just so many distractions that were being thrown at the consumer. >> reporter: there were some bright spots. home furnishings, women's clothing and jewelry. many shoppers said the season of giving continues. >> i like giving, even to myself. >> that was john yang reporting. as always, let us know why you're awake. send an e-mail to wayt
firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll read the best responses later in the show. no obscene responses. not going to read any of those. still ahead on "way too early," tim tebow is having a rough exit interview in new york, lashing out on critics who say he quit on the team after getting passed over for the third-stringer in sunday's game. that's next in sports. plus, a massive aquarium bursts at a mall in china, mixing sharks with helpless shoppers. sounds like a place i was at over the weekend. we'll bring you that story and get an update wointer weather. "way too early" comes right back. >> these images were taken just moments before the attack that killed the 54-year-old former prime minister. she was gunned down minutes after appearing at a political rally in rawalpindi. the shooting was followed by a suicide bomb blast.
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♪ there is downtown -- where are we there? let me see. let me take a guess. >> detroit. >> no, it's not detroit. it's new york city! that's where it is, right where we are. dylan, you've been busy. let's get a check right now on the weather from nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer. busy, busy, busy! >> oh, and not a good week for the weather to be this busy. you know, everyone wants a white christmas, but when it wreaks havoc on the airports, it's not a good thing. look at some of the snowfall totals across ohio, pennsylvania, upstate new york. we did pick up more than a foot of snow. connecticut picked up around six inches of snow before it did change over to some of that rain, and now it is all rain. we also had wind gusts in spots that did not need more wind. we're talking the jersey shore with wind gusts up to 70 to 75 miles per hour. those are hurricane-force wind gusts that we saw across the jersey shore. things are improving right now,
but it is still going to be a little nasty throughout the rest of the day with those winds staying up there around 30 miles per hour, though, instead. we do still have winter storm warnings and advisories, mostly now across the ski region through central and upstate new york and also into vermont and new hampshire, areas that are hoping for some snow, and we certainly have been lacking in it most of this winter season so far, but we are looking at a pretty decent snow, upstate new york, vermont, new hampshire, eventually moving and becoming more heavy up across maine. but it is raining mostly from boston down to hartford. new york city still breezy, but it is ail rain. we're done with that icy mix. we did have some flooding, especially down near the battery, but we are seeing impro improvements to that as well as the high tide starts to recede. there is still a chance across central new england that we could end up with another one to two feet of snow, again, mostly in the ski resorts, but inland massachusetts up into southern new hampshire still seeing some troubles on the roads this morning. temperatures along the coast are r running in the upper 30s and
lower 40s, so it will be raining through the rest of the morning, but we will see improvements as we go into the afternoon, especially in new york city. washington, d.c., will already start to see some improvements this morning, temperatures in the 40s. and then tomorrow it looks nice and sunny through the northeast as all those airports try to get back on track with more than 1,000 airport delays yesterday. >> i know. i was a casualty. >> oh, nice. but you're here this morning, so. >> i know, sadly, i am. that's the reality. all right, thanks, dylan. now sports. the toy department. the knicks facing the suns in phoenix last night. let's pick it up, 15 seconds left, knicks down by two. j.r. smith spins, knocks down the jumper, game tied at 97. still tied, one second remaining, smith with a chance to win it at the buzzer. let's see what he does. eh, he does! knicks win 99-97, thanks to smith's 21-foot fadeaway on a night when both carmelo anthony and raymond felton were side lined with injuries. the knicks own the second best record in the east at 21-8. why do i think everybody out there is saying who cares?
but let's continue. more from the nba last night, lakers taking on the nuggets. third quarter, lakers down by six. kenneth parise drives to the basket, hit in the face by dwight howard. howard is hit by a flagrant two-shot foul call and is ejected. howard said after the game he was surprised by the call and never intended to hurt him. no word whether howard will earn a suspension for the play. lakers lose 126-114, halting their winning streak to five games. the lakers are having a tough season. to news from the nfl now, where the jets' relationship with tim tebow has deteriorated even further. tebow insisted yesterday that despite reports to the contrary, he did not opt out of running plays in the team's wildcat package during sunday's loss to the chargers. tebow did confirm that he had a heated conversation with head coach rex ryan about his role on the team and his unhappiness with being passed over for the starting quarterback job.
but tebow says he never refused to be part of the game plan, telling espn, "for people to not know the situation and to bash your character and say you're a phony, you're a fake and you're a hypocrite, i think that's what's disappointing and that's what's frustrating. it was me asking to get an opportunity to play the position i love, which is quarterback. it wasn't me asking out of anything." rex ryan has been above the matter saying tebow would have played if ryan had chosen to put him in. all indications are that tebow will leave the jets at the end of the season. duh. and finally, the nfl named its pro bowl teams yesterday and only one of the league's impressive rookie quarterbacks made the cut. robert griffin iii will represent the nfc in hawaii, while fellow rookie signal-callers andrew luck and russell wilson were left off the pro bowl rosters. first of all, the pro bowl is such a loser game, stop it.
in the afc, peyton manning becomes the first quarterback in history to be selected to 12 pro bowls. he will be joined in the starting lineup by andre johnson, rob gronkowski and arian foster. and notable names from the nfc, aaron rodgers, adrian peterson, calvin johnson and victor cruz, who will make his first career pro bowl appearance. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," treasury secretary tim geithner throws a monkey wrench in the fiscal cliff talks, announcing that the u.s. will reach its budget cliff by monday. we'll discuss that on "morning joe." and when we come back, we'll hudding around the water cooler, where it gets awkward in an interview between the obamas and barbara walters. that's next when "way too early" comes right back.
♪ okay, enough with the real news, let's gather around the water cooler to watch barbara walters try to pull back the curtain on life at the white house. the 83-year-old journalist sat down to interview president obama and the first lady, assuming we've all heard plenty about the fiscal cliff, walters wasted little time pivoting to more intimate territory. >> when you look at this picture, what do you think? at what point was it taken? >> i think we were campaigning in iowa. >> so, why were you hugging so hard in iowa? >> because i love my wife.
>> well, and also, i hadn't seen him in a while. i mean, you know, when you're campaigning, we're two ships passing in the night, and the first time i saw him was when i walked on stage to greet him, and that's my honey giving me a hug. >> giving you hugs. >> how do you keep the fire going? >> that's a good question. >> you know, we've been married now 20 years. >> mm-hmm. >> and like every marriage, i think you have your ups and you have your downs, but if you work through the tough times, the respect and love that you feel deepens. >> and then there's a lot of laughter, you know? >> and you're funnier. >> yeah, yeah. >> everybody thinks she's pretty funny. i'm funnier than people think. >> yeah, you are. >> that may be. you may be funnier than people think. >> i am. >> he is! the president's funny, but his wife is funnier. if you thought the scene at your local mall these past weeks was rough this holiday season,
check out what happened at a shopping center in shanghai, china. folks who were admiring a 33-ton shark tank, when the aquarium suddenly shattered into pieces, sending broken glass, water and sea life pouring on to the floor. reports say at least 15 people were injured, many with cuts and bruises. the torrents of water sent panicked shoppers fleeing for the doors. it's still unclear what caused the glass to shatter, but one theory said the recent temperature drop in the area may have affected the tank's integrity. all righty. still ahead on "way too early," why are you awake? your age-appropriate tweets, texts and e-mails are next, and be careful now. don't insult me too much. "morning joe" is now just moments away. ♪ [ male announcer ] it's that time of year again. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference.